The Walking Dead: The Ride

Thorpe Park

Take the Safe Zone transport to escape from the Walkers which have overrun Thorpe Park - it's your best chance to survive and stay alive ...

Theme ParkThorpe Park
Park AreaThe Dock Yard
AudienceOlder Families and Thrillseekeers
Opened23 March 1996 (original X:\No Way Out)
31 March 2018 (The Walking Dead: The Ride retheme)
Height42 ft
Length1312 ft
Max Speed28 mph
Duration2 minutes
On-Ride Photos
Entrance to the TP Safe Zone bunker

Entrance to the TP Safe Zone bunker

Thorpe Park has been overrun by zombies, but luckily near the centre of The Island is a Safe Zone, providing harbour for those being pursued by the Walkers. Guests have been advised to make their way to the safety of the bunker as soon as possible...

The Walking Dead: The Ride opened at Thorpe Park in 2018 and is based on the zombie apocalypse themed TV show from AMC. It isn't a new ride however, but a retheme of the old X:\No Way Out (latterly X) rollercoaster which has been at Thorpe Park since 1996.

As The Walking Dead: The Ride (do we really need so many "The"s?), the previously maligned rollercoaster has been given a new life and regained at least a bit of popularity. The outside queueline and ride building has had a makeover, with guests now lining up to be admitted to the safety of the TP Safe Zone - an indoor pyramid shaped bunker with a large watchtower outside.

Inside the building is a short preshow, which begins with guests being asked questions via a video link before being admitted to the Safe Zone itself. The registration interrogation is cut short when we find that zombies have breached the outer fences and are making their way inside the bunker - everyone is pushed forward to race down a series of dark corridors towards the transportation that will take them to safety.

Transportation station

Transportation station

The transportation is of course the rollercoaster itself. There are a variety of theming elements along the track and the train stops at various points during the ride, with the story playing out through video screens and audio as the Walkers get increasingly close and begin reaching for the train.

With zombies just behind, the train makes it to the unload station and riders are ushered off and through a set of doors to escape via an old Thorpe Park canteen and down another set of darkened corridors.

Thorpe Park have made a number of attempts over the years at retheming X:\No Way Out, but this is by far the most substantial and probably most successful. It is, however, still the same rather tame and unexciting indoor rollercoaster. The mid-course stops on the block brakes have been reinstated, but now for the first time actually make sense with the addition of plot points revealed while the train is held.

The new preshow is nicely done, but much less attention has been paid to the subsequent darkened corridors with red flashing lights. There is some nice new theming in the old photo/baggage collection area after the ride, but again the seemingly endless darkened corridors leading back outside lack much imagination.

Overall though, the transformation into The Walking Dead: The Ride isn't too bad for a small year investment by the park. There are some nice throwbacks to X:\No Way Out to spot - see if you can find the new Thorpe Park Power Supply! However, with TWD:TR and Derren Brown's Ghost Train both now featuring zombie like creatures, it feels that the theme is perhaps in danger of being overused on The Island.

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